Big Boy on Zeeb emptied and closed.
In early August, the Big Boy franchise on Zeeb Road was closed, eight months after the franchisee, Berry Brothers LLC, stopped paying rent. After an unsigned eviction notice was posted over the weekend, the restaurant was stripped. Property manager Phil Conlin says he found "thirty or forty guys and a line of trucks backed up." They took everything--kitchen equipment, lighting fixtures, booths, counters, even water heaters.
A couple of weeks before, at the Berry Brothers' other Big Boy location on Lohr Circle, the management and staff were escorted from the premises, and the doors were locked behind them. Donald Conley, attorney for landlord Vikham Management Services, says, "I don't know why they were taken by surprise when we did it, because they knew they had the eviction judgment pending. But once they were locked out of Lohr Circle, they knew what was going to happen at the other one."
The Big Boy Corporation is suing Berry Brothers LLC for breach of contract and failure to pay franchise fees, among other charges. According to Conlin, the company intends to run the Zeeb Road location as a corporate store, but it's seeking another franchisee to take on the Lohr Circle shop.
Berry Brothers could not be reached for comment.
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[Originally published in September, 2009.]